Luminarium of the Exalted
We all must have faith in the almighty, for if we do, then he shall have faith in us so that we may not stray from the path laid out for us so that we may find our salvation through the fire that burns within him to light the way for us against all evil that exists in the world and beyond. - Excerpt from the Tome of Salvation
Speaker of the Exalted: The head of the church and is in charge of all dealing that involves them. His voice is that of the one true god himself, and whatever he says is considered the words of The Exalted Council of the Exalted: Elected priests are given the rank of Reverend by the Specker of the Exalted. They are in charge of electing new speakers and acting as the governing body of the luminarium, advising the speaker, creating laws, and acting as envoys. Arch Vicar: Help maintain order in the region they are assigned to by leaving the faith of an entire region and having the ear of the Speaker of the Exalted. Vicar: In charge of large areas of surrounding luminars called a luminous, ensuring the faith does not falter, and religious law is kept. Along with rooting out any heresy and paganism that may have found its way into the population. Luminary : The foundation of the Luminarium is run by them in their Luminars across the west, spreading the faith to the masses.
It is our duty to guide the people to salvation, for the world is full of darkness and sin that can easily swallow them whole. This is why we must stay vigilant and strike it down where it stands when the light of the Flame reveals it and the Spirit cleanses it from this world. - Zealous Luminary
Being a MemberSo you have passed The Trials of the Worthy, and you are now a member of the church, good for you. Now you can live the rest of your days as a priest of The Exalted But wait; you are not a priest yet, you have to go through a few years of training to become a full-fledged Luminary. But once that is done, and you very is devoted to the one true god, you can start spreading the word of the faith. But being a part of the church is not all fun and games as they take their jobs very seriously, and sooner or later, there will be heads colliding with one another on the opinion of who the faith should be taught. This is why sooner or later, you are going to end up with one of the many sects that makes up the church for the rest of your life. You will have to follow their rules for the rest of your life, and there is no turning back. At least you will live a nice and comfortable life as the church ensures that its members are taken care of to ensure that they do their jobs properly.
What People Think of YouMembers of the Luminarium are greatly honored by followers of The Exalted, with them being responsible for keeping the faith and ensuring that nothing sinful or evil is left unchecked. Making a well-respected member of society and conveyor of salvation to the masses. The people of the west look up to the Luminarium for guidance in their time of need. Causing them to be the center of attention to a lot of people, and not always the good kind either. They will often be the target of those who worship evil and darkness to ensure that their god's will is carried out. This is often the most common way to cut a Luminary's career short, as they are often brutally murdered when they don't even realize it. But they have nothing to worry about as they will often have guards to protect them in case that happens. They can also vanquish that evil with the power of the one true god at their beck and call when they desperately beg for him to save them. The nobility will, of course, love them and often will try to stay on their good side to ensure that their subjects a kept happy and not trying to mount their heads in a pike. It is also the only way for them to gain salvation, as their priests are the only ones who can absolve sin, making them financially beneficial to the Luminarium.
To spread the faith and eradicate the heathens and heretics. Along with uniting the lands of Humanity under the glorious light of the Exalted.
The Luminarium has much influence across the Western Lands and the powers that rule over it. The Vatian Empire is one of them. The many organizations such as the Order of the Righteous Flame and the Inquisition are one of many groups used in military affairs. But their followers are their most precious asset as they give them the power to do as they please in the name of their god.
The Guiding LightThe Luminarium, since its creation in Ardania has been a beacon of hope to many who seek protection and salvation in a world that is vile and dangerous. Its foundations originated from the Prophets of Truth that brought the teaching and guiding principles of the Exalted to the people showing them a much kinder god that cared for their people than the gods of old. However, the prophets would not see the founding of the Luminarium as they were killed by the followers of the old gods, leading to the First Divine Crusade that led to the purging of the pagans from the land, with those that survived fleeing into the Great Forest afterwords only then did the Luminarium would be founded under the first Speaker of the Exalted, Oren I. From this creation, the faith would be implanted into the Southlands from that day forth. It would only grow stronger from here on as its influence would begin to spread across the Western Lands for centuries to come. While it took time for the faith to spread to the rest of the west, it would come both peacefully and violently as it continued its spread, ridding the land of the false gods and the unholy from the land. Allowing people to feel safe and protected under the one true god aiding his followers in the darkest times as evil came in different forms, from the supernatural to that of men with ill intentions. But it did not make the Luminarium falter, and the many Divine Crusades and orders were formed to protect them from these evils. But most of all, they gave the people hope that their salvation would come one day as long as they remained faithful and true to their god. Even today, they do what they can to keep their followers believing and help in any way they can to ensure that hope stays alive as they are found where ever they are needed to keep the faith alive. For it seems that nothing will shake the resolve of the faith that has built them up to become what they are today.
Mythology & Lore
According to the holy texts, The Exalted was the first true god that existed, creating the world from a great battle between him and one of his first creations known as The Tainted who rebelled against his design for its selfish design. The ensuing battle created the stars, and the Tainted would be destroyed with a holy fire that charred him into a burning rock. However, The Exalted whept the death of his first child, and his tears cooled the burning rock, and from it, the seas rose, and the plants began to grow. It remained in what would be the world, and he created life across the world from it. Instead of existing as a single being, he divided himself into twelve pieces to travel and spread his values to all his creations to avoid the mistakes of The Tainted. But when all came together, he would take the form of a dove of fire or a being of light in the form of a man. Through these values, he helped in the creation of the world, but from this creation, he would create one in his image, Humans, and guide them into being virtuous beings and building a paradise known as the Sanctuary where all creatures lived in harmony. Though this paradise would not last as from the charred remains of its first child came forth creatures of its wicked nature known as the Great Sins or the Seven Devils who corrupted his creations, forcing them to fall to sin and destroying The Sanctuary with Humans being the most corrupted of all, they abandoned the Exalted and began to live a pain and suffering and those who fell to the powers of the devils would become the first Demons. Outraged by this act, he would banish the Seven devils and their Demons deep into the earth in what is known as the Seven Hells, where they remain. He attempted to fix the damage done, but it was too late, and he would soon bring what was left of paradise to his domain of the Divine Heavens leaving his creations believing that they were forever lost to him, but did not wish to see them destroyed. In time he was widely forgotten as the people strayed from his teaching and fell into the corruption of false gods and the Seven Devils. However, he soon realized that they could be redeemed as he saw his virtues still within them, but he did not show himself to them and gifted them with fire and medicine to combat their cruel world. In time, however, he would reveal himself to the world by choosing several men and women of virtue that represented his will, testing their resolve and visiting them in dreams showing them his wonders and teaching them believing they were worthy of spreading his will to the world once more. These individuals would be known as the Prophets of Truth and would spread the faith of The Exalted to save those who lost themselves in sin and wickedness. They would do so for decades as their voices and conviction were heard by many, and from then on, the virtues of The Exalted were brought back into the world to guide them back into The Sanctuary to allow them to return to his embrace.
The origins of the Luminarium were said to have been found by the Prophets of Truth, six men and six women who brought about the teachings of the one true god in Ardania. In only a decade, their teachings and practices would spread across the region like wildfire as the people abandoned the false gods they once worshiped. It was said that each prophet represented one aspect of The Exalted and created the Scriptures of the Prophets. People soon believed that The Exalted was a benevolent god that would save them in this dark and cruel world they had created. Many of their followers would become the Luminarium's founders in the process. Many would follow the faith and build many Luminars in his name as the shrines and temples of old gods were destroyed. The Prophets themselves would be murdered by followers of the old gods that saw them as a threat and a long and bloody crusade leaving those that followed the old gods to flee into the Great Forest and later turn in world form many of the outlander tribes that exist to this day. The Luminarium would soon be formed by the apostles following the prophets, with the first Speaker of the Exalted leading the faith. Over the next few centuries, the Luminarium would easily spread across the land until almost all of the west was under its influence.
The world was created from the first being of sin, and from it, the Seven Devils came. Creating the idea that the world was born sinful and corrupting all creation with it. It will do anything to keep Humanity from reaching its one and true savior. That is why they must fight against all those who would dare to drag them back into the darkness that only brings pain and misery.
The faith usually follows the teachings of The Exalted by showing humility, courage, patience, diligence, temperance, compassion, devotion and purity, justice, love, truth, and hope. Many are taught at a young that when a sin is committed, they must see a Luminary absolve them of sin to stay pure. All those who embrace sin are looked down upon with disgust, for they will never find their place in Divine Heaven. The enemy of the faith is the dark force of the world, such as pagans, the Seven Devils, the supernatural, and those who practice the dark arts of magic. They are told to watch out for the sins of wrath, lust, sloth, gluttony, greed, envy, and pride. Homosexuality is not accepted either, for it is deemed sinful in their eyes, and they tend to rid of it one way or another. Praying is done to be thankful for what their savior has given to them; it is done every time one eats, before going to sleep, and before going into battle. Followers must also go to Luminar on the first day of the week, pray, and listen to the holy texts, so they never forget their faith.
Praying is usually done daily, along with going to Luminar weekly. While there, they are given fire ash rubbed on their forehead as a cleansing. They would then kneel and repeat the holy texts spoken by the Luminaires and the yearly Trails of Devotion that take place to test the truly faithful. Lighting candles daily by a shrine in the shape of a dove surrounded by twelve symbols representing each aspect of The Exalted is also a signification of faith. While there are a few actual burns themselves if there are thinking sinful thoughts as a way to cleanse themselves. But most tend to raise doves in their home and release them on religious holidays in celebration. These holidays include the Festival of the Flame, Trials of the Worthy, Day of the Souls, and Holy Mass.
The Luminaires are the foundation of the faith; they preach to the masses of devotion and faith in their one and only savior. Of course, becoming a priest can be a little troubling since the church has certain standards. They first have to pass the Trails of the Worthy, which can be difficult to pass, with only the most faithful deemed worthy to enter. Men and women are both allowed to join. They then bathed in ash and s0ot from the fire that burned for twelve days and eleven nights as a sign of purity. They then take their vows which take entire days in front of a newly started Azure fire with nothing more than loin cloth to cover themselves. The heat is most intense, with only the weak unable to withstand its heat for long periods. They are not allowed to eat, drink, or sleep either. This is to show that their faith will never waver, unlike their flesh. When the flame dies out, they are placed into a pool of water and stay under for a minute. When they arise, they are no longer the people they used to be but truly devoted to the Spirit and the Flame. A tattoo of the Luminarium's symbol is placed on their back, and they are given blue and white robes. Their duties as apostles begin the day after and will remain so unless the priesthood desires to ascend them higher into the rank. The higher the rank shows the amount of faith that they have. The highest is that of the Speaker of the Exalted, who the Council of the Exalted elects, the governing members of the Luminarium. The Speaker is considered the holiest of all the followers and is looked to all for guidance, for he is said to speak to The Exalted, and through them is his will.
Granted Divine Powers
According to legend, the most faithful priests and warriors are given the Azure Flame of Purity, which is said to vanquish the greatest of evils, along with the Touch of the Spirit, which is said to heal the sick and wounded. Other powers granted by them come in many different ways, such as warding off wicked creatures and summoning fire without being born with magic.
Political Influence & Intrigue
The Luminarium has a tight grip on the Western Lands of Kineth. Many of the clergy have a seat in the governments in one way or another, especially in the Vatian Empire, with much of the faith dominating the population. The church is also responsible for blessing rulers during their coronation as a sign that they have been chosen by their one and true savior. They can even allow military action to be given to rulers if heresy or pagans is spreading amongst the people.
Fides viam ducet (Faith shall lead the way)
Religious, Organised Religion
Power of Faith
We are all children of the God of many forms, and by following the path that he has left out for us, we shall no longer know suffering and want when we finally are at his side when we enter his kingdom - Kind LuminaryThe Luminaries has always had a way with words when talking to those around them. This can be from giving them hope or leading them into a blood frenzy. This is why they are so influential and why people will follow them to death if told to. But most just want to keep those they preach to happy and tell them they will reach salvation by staying with them. It works too, and the people who follow the teaching of the one true god often live happy lives no matter what they go through.
Those who deny the word of the one true god are considered his enemy and shall know his wrath for bringing deception to his people. They shall know his righteous fury that will burn away their wickedness from the earth in his cleansing fire. - Zealous LuminaryThough the church has been known for spreading the word of peace across the land, they have taken its job a little too seriously, which can lead to obsession with the most faithful of priests. This has caused them to lead a life where all aspects of sinners are removed. The worse the sin, the greater the punishment that they will receive. With those reaching the point of a follower of darkness or a heretic to be brutally tortured or suffer a painful execution. The most infamous of these is being burned at the stake to ensure that the cleansing fire eradicates their evil.
Spreading the Good Word
We all have a duty to save those who have lost themselves to the ignorance and lies that have been told to them so they may know the proper path to salvation. - MissionaryThe Luminarium has never be shy about spreading their faith to anywhere they go considering it to be their divine duty to untie the world under one god. Sending missionaries to foreign lands and places where the people live with sin, some are successful allowing for their faith to have a hold in theses lands to spread and grow.
Tenets of Faith
- Thou shall not let the wicked inherit the earth and strike them down with righteous fury.
- Thou shall not turn the other cheek when sin has been unleashed.
- The flame is life; it brings warmth and nourishment and cleans the soul of sin.
- The Spirit will guild all those who follow me to my side and live in my kingdom.
- Let not temptation and desire lead you on the path of damnation.
- Let it be known to all that all creatures of darkness and their followers have no place in the lands of my people.
- Though shall not let fear overcome thy self in the face of evil.
- Let not anger cloud one judgment, for it will hide the truth that is right in front of you.
- Give to those less fortunate than you.
- No crime shall go unpunished, no matter how great that person may be.
- Let those speak their prayer so I may hear them in their hour of need.
- Those who have unyielding faith shall find hope in the darkest times.